House bill seeks criminalizing animal crueltyBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker wants to criminalize animal cruelty.
Guimaras Representative JC Rahman Nava authored House Bill 6049 which tackles welfare obligations and offenses on animals, and seeks to impose penalties on maltreatment and killing of animals.
The measure eyes to create an Animal Welfare Division and Animal Advisory Committee under the Bureau of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture and the amendment of Republic Act 8585 or the “Animal Welfare Act.”
It will be unlawful to torture, neglect to provide adequate care, maltreat, kill or procure animals to be killed.
Subjecting animals to fights or using them in experiments unauthorized by law will also be violations of the proposed measure.
Nava pointed out that the bill prohibits the killing of animals except those which are
suited for human consumption like cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles.
Violators will face six months to six years of imprisonment or a ranging fine from P5,000 to P50, 000.
They will be prohibited from owning or possessing any animal after serving the penalty. And if they are found to own any animal, an additional penalty of six months imprisonment and P100,000 fine shall be imposed on them.
The bill mandates that a regional animal welfare officer, tasked to assist in implementing the proposed measure, be appointed by the Secretary of the DA.
These officers will have “the full authority
to seize and rescue illegally traded and maltreated animals and to arrest violators of this Act subject to existing laws, rules and regulations on arrest and detention,” Nava added.
Nava said that exceptions to the bill would be if an animal was killed as part of religious rituals, tribal or ethnic custom of indigenous communities; if the animal is inflicted of incurable communicable disease or if it is necessary to put an end to the misery suffered by the animal.